Against Democracy: 'Terrorist' Text From Spain

  • Posted on: 1 January 2015
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From Rabble

On 16 December police arrested 11 comrades in a wave of raids on anarchist spaces and homes in Barcelona and other cities in the Spanish state. Seven are still held in prison in Madrid.

The seven prisoners are accused of undefined “terrorism”. According to the prosecutor, the evidence against them includes finding numerous copies of a book called “Against Democracy”, written by the “Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados” (“Coordinated Anarchist Groups”, GAC), in the raided buildings. The GAC is an anarchist organisation, active since 2012, which the Spanish state is trying to paint as a “terrorist” network.

Below is a translation into English of the preface and introduction of the book, which is a theoretical critique of contemporary democracy rather than a “terror manual”. The whole thing (92 pages) is available in Spanish here: http://es.contrainfo.espivblogs.net/files/2014/07/contra-la-democracia.pdf

Against Democracy

Presentation

This bunch of pages you have in your hands represents a small contribution from the Coordinated Anarchist Groups (GAC: Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados) to the combat against democracy. Democracy is the current and most generalised form of political domination (as the principal and most perfected articulation of the state), a mentality that is authoritarian, delegating and submissive, and the ideal legal framework for the development of the capitalist economy, source of exploitation and misery.

It is for these reasons, and also faced with an alarming demand for more and better democracy coming from many sectors that have increasingly started to protest and disobey recently, a demand that almost always leads to a phagocytosis (**) of real and radical struggles, that over the last two years we have conducted a campaign against this dominating and domesticating monster of democracy. These texts, all homemade, are part of this campaign. We hope with them to contribute modestly to the huge task that is fighting the State, Capitalism and all forms of Authority, in pursuit of a world without either rulers or ruled, in pursuit of Anarchy.

A rebel greeting and we hope that you can enjoy our small contribution.

Grupos Anarquistas Coordinados.
Spring 2013.

(** Phagocytosis: micro-physiological process in which cells engulf and ingest particles).

Introduction

Why attack democracy?

Democracy justifies itself by principles which, though they are repeated a thousand times, do not become true, but have become so internalised that even its opponents believe in them. The popular idea of the goodness of this regime has become so ingrained and immobile that change appears impossible, no one now proposes any other forms of organisation, or even other forms of living.

To us the daughters of democracy, they have told us that this is the best of all regimes, our parents and grandparents lived under a system where coercion and repression were more direct, and now that things are gentler, we are obliged from birth to accept it. How is it that we are becoming a generation more impoverished than those before, without going through a war? Because of a situation that is imposed by this system as inevitable.

The free association in which democracy is said to be based is nothing of the sort, because from birth we are obliged to belong to this regime without being allowed to choose other forms of life. We do not associate freely within educational institutions because other ways of learning are made illegal, we do not associate freely within work because we do not control what we produce, nor the time clock, nor do we have the capacity to organise ourselves together with companions.

Universal suffrage, a concept that throughout history has been praised as a victory for increasingly greater parts of the population, puts itself in question. They have always told us that the vote is free when in reality it is a limited choice, because consciousness is not free, it is subject to the propaganda of the regime and the culture defended by the groups in power. It also denies freedom by reducing it to no more than giving an opinion, “yes” or “no” or on what party is going to govern, denying us the possibility to develop other proposals for living together. And because it is anonymous, is there no freedom of expression?

In democracy we give up our interests, the satisfaction of our needs and the organisation of human relations and of life, into the hands of others. By means of the vote we supposedly choose those who can better represent our interests, but here we collide with reality: the political parties defend their own interests in accordance with the rules they themselves have established, they seek to accumulate levels of economic and political power in order to maintain their domination and influence on the rest of society.

Criticism of politicians is almost universal, trust in their justice system does not exist, and its use only a proof of the personal and collective incapacity to resolve conflicts, of its incapacity to convince. The laws clearly have economic intentions, with their eagerness to collect money, as with fines or labour market reform, or directly through the economic organisation of society, while at the same time they carry out the work of repression cutting the liberties that they claim to defend (free association, free press, free assembly …) and continually extending the threat of prison (the latest highway code). In this way human beings are made into citizens (or consumers, or users, or clients … depending on the context), with the corresponding rights and duties imposed on us, and so, made into political merchandise.

Democratic fundamentalism does not limit itself to the territories it currently dominates, because capitalism to survive needs to expand, and so it tries to reach every corner of the planet imposing democracy, the best hotbed for development. It does not hesitate to launch military campaigns against territories where capitalism is not rooted, demonising their customs and culture to win support from the population of the attacking country.
It imposes a model of life by force, both inside and outside its borders, while selling a false idea of freedom. Never before has a regime had in its reach so many means of repression and social control. Policies are made based on the needs of the market. In democracy our choice as voters has the aim of supporting the political measures that our governors have to carry out whether they are of left or right.

In this historical moment the various political leaders have no opposed interests, apart from gestures. All should promote the structure of the state in which capital develops, and apply policies according to the needs of the market not of people. Indeed, in many cases the politicians are direct beneficiaries as they themselves belong to the business class. We have all been silent witnesses of how the government has injected millions of euros to the banks while most people do not have work or are suffering from evictions. We are also accustomed to hearing how the webs of corruption directly tie together economics and politics. Without mincing words and with little concern to hide the reality from the population, Emilio Botín [chairman of Santander bank, died of a heart attack in September 2014] says: “above certain levels the relation between business and politics is direct, much more than people suspect, a direct phone call from mobile to mobile without any secretaries in between”. When it comes time to legislate, democracy is based not on common interest but on company interests.

For these reasons we conclude that democracy is not the government of the people but the masquerade behind which hides the dictatorship of capital.

IF WE BELIEVE THAT DEMOCRACY IS FREEDOM WE WILL NEVER STOP BEING SLAVES.
LET’S UNMASK THIS GREAT LIE!
LET’S BUILD ANARCHY!

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Comments

This translation was made by and originally posted on rabble.org.uk. [http://rabble.org.uk/against-democracy-terrorist-text-from-spain/] Obviously feel free to re-use and distribute, but it is good to give a link.

hi I'm the person who submitted the article I must have forgotten to include the link, apologies! I wanted to include all the links from original article but my html coding skill is a little rusty!

Bleeding edge discourse from spain, thanks comrades! Anyone talking this much sense must be a "terrorist"

Democracy originally referred to a cooperative manner of managing social relations through face-to-face discussions; e.g. where participants may have been multiple tribes living in proximity. The idea was to sustain balance and harmony across this matrix of relations. There was no concept of a ‘central authority’ or ‘laws of the land’ that all of the participants were obliged to comply with. Such a concept is based on ‘moral judgement’ and the notion of an individual or individual tribe or community as an ‘independent system’ that would be held fully and solely responsible for its actions. These are concepts that come from ‘science’. There was no ‘moral judgement’ based social dynamics management in the soon-to-be colonized regions of the world.

As Schroedinger observes, we risk “mistaking for primitive what is the result of growth and development, and for natural what is actually artificial” --Schroedinger, cites from John Burnet’s ‘Early Greek Philosophers:’ “... it is an adequate description of science to say that it is ‘thinking about the world in the Greek way.’ That is why science has never existed except among peoples who came under the influence of Greece.”

It is the laws of the land that gives supreme power to a central authority and it is the laws of the land that are foundational to establishing the institutions of ‘police’ and ‘courts of justice’ and the notion that the ‘law-breaker’ is the offender and the ‘state’ is the victim. this radically alters the ‘face of democracy’. that is, ‘science’ and ‘moral judgement’ makes viable the assumption that the individual is an ‘independently-existing entity with internal process driven and directed behaviour that operates in a habitat that is independent of the inhabitants that reside and operate within it, and thus is fully and solely responsible for the results of his own behaviour.

[1] The emergence of the sovereign state was … the necessary instrument of Europe’s colonial expansion.” Camilleri, Joseph A. “Rethinking Sovereignty in a Shrinking, Fragmented World.”
.
[2] The notion of “absolute, unlimited power held permanently in a single person or source, inalienable, indivisible, and original” is a definition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God. This “God died around the time of Machiavelli…. Sovereignty was … His earthly replacement.” Walker, R. B. J. and Mendlovitz, Saul H. “Interrogating State Sovereignty.”
.
[3] All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts, not only because of their historical development … but also because of their systematic structure. Bartelson, Jens. A Genealogy of Sovereignty.
.
[4] State sovereignty “is a ‘religion’ and a faith.” Lombardi, Mark Owen. “Third-World Problem-Solving and the ‘Religion’ of Sovereignty: Trends and Prospects.”

There were no law-enforcement officers in primitive democracy because there were no laws because there was no moral judgement of individual behaviour because there was no assumption of the independent existence of individual humans and no assumption of a habitat that was independent of the inhabitants that reside and operate within it because there was no ‘science’ because there was no noun-and-verb European/Scientific language-and-grammar, which is where science came from.

The word ‘democracy’ as it is being used in this article is a secularized theological concept. natural democracy is not based on laws and law enforcement.

in order to overcome this religious form of democracy, we have to overcome our misguided belief in science and 'laws'.

The question is one of rhetoric and style more than etymology and semantics.

Is drafting lengthly distinctions between "natural" and "legal" (or "electoral" and "direct" or "real" and "corrupted") democracy more elegant and useful than simply situating anarchy in distinct opposition to democracy as a whole?

Given emile's propensity for TLDR comments on this site, I suspect he's unable to see that the clear answer to that question is "no".

the punch line to this old joke is 'in england, we call it 'a fork', which of course, is what it actually is'.

there was an old, old pre-colonial practice that was called democracy which is now, retrospectively, popularly called 'anarchism', ... practices changed but the word 'democracy' [which was referring to what we now call anarchism] continued to be applied to the radically changed sovereigntist process.

is there justification for using a new and different word-signifier now that the sense of the word 'democracy' has been bent out of all recognition. sure there is. let's call it 'anarchism'.

is it worthwhile investigating what it is about what happened to 'democracy' that makes it so unpalatable?

... or should we forget about that and just go around beating our chest as we set the two "in distinct opposition", grunting ; 'democracy bad', 'anarchism good', ughrh,ughh,uggh,burpp.

as derrida observes; 'there is nothing outside of context', and as heraclitus reminds us, there are no things in the physical reality of our natural experience that are in 'distinct opposition'.

yes emile … everyone who doesn't adhere to your rigid definitions is just "grunting and beating their chest"

writing such as emile's deconstructs so as to re-contextualize. this is a means of avoiding 'rigid definitions'. by sharing views via relational context, rather than 'content' (rigid definitions), the listener can then fill in the 'receptacles' with his own content. If I am communicating with a person who 'speaks a different language' that I do not know, and he does not know mine, ... then I can supply context; e.g. I could do it in a sign language charade; e.g. I can pretend I am getting into a 'car', putting the key in the ignition, putting the car in gear and moving the steering wheel back and forth, so that the listener can fill in the content-word that fills the contextual receptacle (car, driver etc.)

context is the only way to deal with a 'relational reality' like the one we live in. using content-based constructs is prone to confusion. for example, if we use the word 'anarchism' in public, different people will pull in definitions from their different, personal 'look-up-tables' to fill in the definition.

however, if i deconstruct and contextualize and speak of an age-old way of people from coming together face-to-face to iron out relational tensions etc. outside of any rigid law and law-enforcing structure, then it matters not whether they put the word 'democracy' or 'anarchism' in that relational-contextual receptacle, since they have the contextual [relations-based] sense of what is being spoken about.

this is what Wittgenstein calls 'approaching the surface of truth from the outside-inward' [from what is obviously non-defining nonsense to that which is not obviously non-sense].

if one starts from defined word-atoms and constructs inside-outwardly, there is an exposure to constructing many different monstrosities depending on the different definitions that people attach to the same words.

my writing emphasizes deconstruction to recontextualize so that the meaning is not so 'correct definition-dependent', a huge exposure when one uses emotionally loaded words that people attach their own biased definitions to.

be that as it may, you're still romanticizing ancient greece a lot with earlier statements about how the modern variations of anarchism could ever be interchangeable with even the most ancient definitions of the word democracy.

that's a lot of loaded conjecture on your part and then you imply that anyone who disagree with you is "grunting" because they're ignorant of history, linguistics, whatever … actually, democracy has always had these problems where it becomes a guise for tyranny, since it's inception.

i’m the one whose major emphasis, leitmotif, continuing theme, is in putting RELATIONS (context) back into their natural precedence over THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES, because the newtonian worldview based on ‘being’ and ‘void’ is over-simplified idealization.

“By the principle of Occam’s razor, physicists and philosophers prefer ideas that can explain the same phenomena with the fewest assumptions. In this case you can construct a perfectly valid theory by positing the existence of certain relations without additionally assuming individual things. So proponents of ontic structural realism say we might as well dispense with things and assume that the world is made of [relational-spatial] structures, or nets of relations.” – Meinard Kuhlmann, ‘What is Real’, Scientific American, August 2013

So, yes, I used the word ‘democracy’ in the sense that wikipedia does in describing ‘primitive democracy’, but, at the same time, i supplied all of the relational context necessary to make the filling of that receptacle with a word, arbitrary.

in fact, I most often use the term ‘indigenous anarchism’ for ‘primitive democracy’ but people complain saying that ‘anarchism postdates’ the longstanding social dynamics management practice that is now referred to as ‘anarcho-indigenism’ or ‘anarcha-indigenism’ or ‘indigenous anarchism’, ... and since others object to 'primitive democracy', ... to each his own preferred language, ... but the major point is that there is some relational activity going on there, which we are capable of having common experience of, and agreeing on, provided we capture the relational context instead of confusing ourselves with content definitions.

you, meanwhile, did not want to go back and address the relational context, but instead wanted to insist on the superiority of the term ‘anarchy’; i.e. you said;

“Is drafting lengthly distinctions between "natural" and "legal" (or "electoral" and "direct" or "real" and "corrupted") democracy more elegant and useful than simply situating anarchy in distinct opposition to democracy as a whole?”

such a statement makes you sound like the guy in the joke who said, “and in england, we call this ‘a fork’ which, of course, is what it actually is’.

meanwhile, i responded;

as derrida observes; 'there is nothing outside of context', and as heraclitus reminds us, there are no things in the physical reality of our natural experience that are in 'distinct opposition'.

let me translate for you;

“It doesn't matter what word we use to name a thing, because its meaning in the physical reality of our natural experience is relational in essence, and if we can share the relational essence (context) then we are sharing on the basis of natural experience and that is the sense that counts and the content-word we assign to such relational context then serves no more purpose than that of a coloured tag that allows two or more of us recapitulate the same ‘relational context’ that we agree to associate with that tag.

If someone wants to go to the local police station and ask them to define ‘anarchist’, as if there is some authority there on the topic who has the ‘correct definition’, fine, do it. for my part, i will continue to ‘deconstruct-and-recontextualize’ so that our communications are based on relational context rather than depending on definition-based content which inevitably raises the question WHOSE FUCKING DEFINITION?

in your last post you are speaking about ‘democracy’ as if it is a real thing-in-itself that plays tricks on people!

actually, democracy has always had these problems where it becomes a guise for tyranny, since it's inception.

there is no such thing as ‘democracy’, the noun/subject, ... and its inception was when someone said; 'let's call whatever is going on here 'democracy''. It is a word floating over the top of a certain relational activity lying hidden below it, like a balloon on the surface of the water that is dragged around by some or other fish. it is too much trouble to say what we mean by it (what fish comes to our mind) therefore there is no common understanding. One subjectizes a relational activity in order to ‘get rid of relational context’ and put in its place local 'content' that 'speaks for itself';

If I say “lightning flashes,” I have posited the flash once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, “is” and does not “become.”–To regard an event as an “effecting,” and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we are guilty.” – Nietzsche, ‘Will to Power’, 531

Nietzsche is talking about how our use of noun-and-verb European/Scientific language-and-grammar tends to put a hex on our minds so as to reduce relational dynamics to notional local, being-based (locally jumpstarting) dynamics, keeping us in the Newtonian mindset.

“Democracy has problems” is another example of how this verhexung can happen. the balloon hijacks the fish.

This makes a lot of sense. By providing context, we remove the domination of words, which, as you say, can be interpreted in very many ways. 'Can't see the context for the words' may help others, as this sounds like 'Can't see the forest for the trees', a very common idiom, but even here, with what seems like a profound statement I made, I can see again the flaw in connecting it to the idiom as providing the same problem of words. This expression is merely a cute play on words. Yet it is by using the familiar that we help convey meaning, hoping people aren't listening for sound bites that would tear the person apart for making too broad a statement or slip into the use of fallacy.

emile is a fucking maoist.

can be deconstructed by a re - contextualized monstrosity of relational movement and intensity as
: be-ing and be - coming of the full plenum of field of forces.
this is indicated in modern cosmology as well as "human relations", in particular the diagram of the map of
bio-regionalism that informs our sentient journey. No teleology here. No dialectic of freedom/necessity.
only creative compositions into singularities incorporating disparate terms and views , leading to an unending plethora of
desires in-co-orperated in assemblages of creative events of startling affective impact by the multitude, acting together,
to-gather and act. a monstrous and momentous line of flight on a plane of immanence and consistency that will not ever quit.

Is never a bad thing. sfbay-anarchists.org/wp-content/.../Bob-Black-Debunking-Democracy.p...

I have to agree with Emile on this to some extent, but there is a limit upon which the definition of a word can be changed, even with context.

Bob Black, who is certainly not afraid of taking a stand on the wrong side of the issue (Churchill, feminism, etc.), does well with this piece but neither it nor the Spanish GAC have looked closely at the literature on sortation, that while not perfect would not be vulnerable to many of the criticisms that Black offers. This is especially true if sortation is done unanimously and in small groups of 4-9 people. It has been tried and Black ignores the many successes of Athens, Florence, etc. as a result of sortition Democracy. While not anarchic, it would be a good way of transitioning a modern society to anarchy.

the correct spelling is sortition, but the spellcheck kept changing it.

Considering that Churchill is a nobody that anyone takes seriously and considering that many millennial age women are rejecting feminism, it's more then debatable that he is wrong on those issues. All you have to do is search up Chanty Binx to see that his essay on feminism has been validated to inherent degrees.

As to democracy, its sustained function over time and consistency is nowhere near being conducive to anarchic existence. As I mentioned to someone before there is more of a continuum between anarchy and aristocracy then there is democracy which just fetishizes the decision making process. The problem IS the process.

If anyone had any doubts about your neckbeard credentials, your constant obsession with this one Toronto feminist makes it pretty fucking clear. Sorry she told your MRA buddies to fuck off and shut up (*gasp*), but y'all are wayyyyyy past the point where good manners can be expected.

I have no obsession with her you little epsilon:) She's just a meme that sums up the worst of modern feminism. If I want to sum up its retardation I just have to mention her name and must people of decent intellect will agree. This is by no means confined to the MRAs(who aren't my buddies the way feminists are yours).

If by "people with decent intellect" you mean loser MRA trolls, then yes. The woman has zero notoriety otherwise - she got famous because she opposed an MRA meeting and neckbeards trolled the shit out of her, which reminded everyone else, yet again, why we hate you douchebags so much.

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